Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sciences education : here comes the 1st Supermoon

Colorado, USA, 2014
credits : via Joe Randall

After the Magic Blue Moon last July, here the full moon of August 29, 2015. It will be the first of this year’s three full supermoons.

It’s a full moon near perigee, or near its closest point to Earth for the month. Like it or not, modern skylore dictates that these sorts of moons are called supermoons.

A full moon is when the sun, Earth and moon line up, with the Earth in the middle. As seen from the surface of the Earth, the moon is fully illuminated. Because it is opposite the sun in the sky, the moon rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west. And, roughly 12 hours later, the moon sets in the west just as the sun is rising in the east.

Because the Earth is constantly revolving around the sun and the moon is constantly revolving around the Earth, a full moon is an instantaneous event, occurring when the moon is exactly opposite the sun. This week, such an alignment happens at 2:35 p.m. EDT (1835 GMT) on Saturday, Aug. 29.

August 2015 full moon is also the first of three full-moon supermoons in 2015. Previously, we had three new moon supermoons in January, February and March, 2015. 

The full moons on August 29, September 28 and October 27 all enjoy the supermoon designation because the centers of these full moons and the center of Earth are less than 361,836 kilometers (224,834 miles) apart. The closest supermoon of the year comes with the September 28 full moon, presenting a moon that’s only 356,877 kilometers (221,753 miles) from Earth. 

The closest and largest full supermoon of them all will fall on September 28, to stage a total eclipse of the moon. Some will call it a Blood Moon eclipse.
But will our eye see that the moon is bigger on the night of August 29? It will depend. 
Are you an incredibly careful observer? Have you watched the full moon over a period of months, leading up to now? 
If so, says Daniel Fischer in Königswinter, Germany, you can discern the extra-large size of the supermoon using just your eye.

ducation :

Three Supermoon. Again ! Wow !

The last time a supermoon made headlines was in July 12 2014, when it appeared to be 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter. However, you can read my post Supermoon in Science education (2013).

Schools are prepared to start the new school year in Europe. But in the Uniter States the summer break for students and teachers have finished this week.

All teachers, no matter the new school year begun or not, are in touch with students via Facebook or Twitter school or personal account, viaschool email accounts, or even on blogs or educational websites (school or individual).


So I think they invited their students to join some skywatchers at national observatories of Astronomy, or go out with family observing the supermoon of tonight.

Ask students to make some shots or videos with their smartphones, tablets or
iphones to explore in Sciences curriculum after Summer holiday.

And of course, to compare with the summer supermoon 2014.

Next week, at school, even in Europe, (school year will start next week), teachers and students will exchange their experience, exploring the resources and debating the interesting Science case.

In practice, it's not always easy to tell the difference between a supermoon and an ordinary full Moon. A 30% difference in brightness can easily be masked by clouds and haze.  Also, there are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon looks about the same size as any other.

 “The ‘Moon Illusion’  is probably what will make people remember this coming set of Full Moons, more than the actual view of the Moon itself,” 

The closest and largest full supermoon of them all will fall on September 28, to stage a total eclipse of the moon. Some will call it a Blood Moon eclipse.

Mystic side:

Oh! By the way, are you ready to attract your heartfelt longings by doing a moon ritual focused on manifestation? 

Full moons are always energetically powerful, deeply creative and also intensely magical times.

All full moons bring us in touch with our emotions, our sensitivities and our inner-selves. We all feel different on a full moon night.
Today August 29th, 2015 we are havin Full Monn in Piscies that will light up the summer sky and, perhaps, bring some new insight onto the scene. 

Sun in Virgo opposite Moon in Pisces. Full Moons are a time where we can feel challenged by the energy of two opposite signs. In this case it is the polarity of the Sun in Virgo (Ego Needs) and Moon in Pisces (Emotional Needs).

Powerful twists and turns of perception could set us on a brand new course, given all the combinations in play.
"Full moon *SuperMoon* is here in dreamy Pisces bringing forth the fluid energies that connect us to the unseen worlds. This is a beautiful spiritual Full Moon that calls us to connect with the deepest part of our Soul and to remember that there’s more to life than meets the eye. We are being called to feel beneath the surface to access the magic experience of direct communication and communion with the world around us. Open up your whole Self and experience the grandeur of oneness. "
The Pisces Moon is aligned with Neptune, amplifying our connection to the spiritual, quantum energies of life.
Oh! I like this spiritually coming from the Full Moon in our life. Well, let's be open mind to appreciate all the good things that it can be brought to us.

Hope you will enjoy to be a skywatcher tonight, August 29 admiring the beauty of this awesome scientific event. And of course with an open mind to the magic of the moment not only in the sky, also into aour life.

Far far away
No voices sounding
No one around me
And you're still there
Far far away
No choices passing
No time confounds me
And you're still there

In the full moon's light I listen to the stream
And in between the silence hear you calling me
But I don't know where I am
And I don't trust who I've been
And If I come home how will I ever leave.

Full Moon, Twilight soundtrack, by The Black Ghosts

Hope you will enjoy the music and will admire the beauty of Full Mooon tonight.

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Science education : here come the 1st Supermoon bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Elephant Journal

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Coding at school : Piecefall, a game by students

Piecefall game
The first fully published PlayStation 4 student game has been released on the PlayStation Store on Wednesday, July 15th.

PieceFall the puzzle game will mark the very first game to be published and developed by a team of students for the PS4. 

screenshot: Piecefall

This was possible by the Playstation First initiative, which gives students a chance to get their games out there to the masses.

“Game studios like PieceFall creator Steel Minions don’t come much younger and fresher than this! In fact, the developers are all students on Sheffield Hallam University’s games degrees and don’t graduate until November 2015."

PlayStation Blog 

Steel Minions Game Studio, created in 2010 at Sheffield Hallam University to provide students with a merit-based "work simulation" studio environment.

Students are chosen to work in the studio based on merit. And game projects are an integral part of their degree portfolio.

screenshot: Piecefall

The game:

Piecefall is a Tetris-inspired 3D puzzle game where abstract floating islands destroyed by a storm have to be rebuilt piece by piece on a horizontal plane .

Four islands, each with twelve puzzles to be solved, allow students/players to gather points to unlock the ultimate level of the Zen Island by rebuilding the ancient spiritual monuments. 

As a reward and with enough points the ultimate level of the Zen Island is unlocked.

A game created and developed by students. Wow! I'm feel proud!

"The 3D visuals bring a sense of Minecraft, while the soft textures give off a tranquil calmness during gameplay."

PieceFall will mark the very first game to be published and developed by a team of students for the PS4. This was made possible by the Playstation First initiative, which gives students a chance to get their games out there to the masses.

How & when to get it?

Available on PlayStation 4 from 15th July, the studio’s new game PieceFall is an agile 3D puzzle game set in a world of abstract floating islands. 
The islands were destroyed by a storm, and it’s the player’s task to return the islands to their former tranquility by rebuilding the land piece by piece.

Price:  £0.99 ; $1.54


Oh! It’s really great to see young developers, in this case students, being given the chance to show the world what they have to offer, and it’s even better when what’s on offer is a very promising title.

Children and young adolescents are learning coding skills in schools curriculum.

Coding in school:

Teaching coding skills to students is seen as a long-term solution to the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and people qualified to fill them.

The new curriculum teaches students computer science, information technology and digital literacy.

Teaching them how to code, how to create their own programs and not just how to work on computer as the old school curriculum. But how a computer works and how to make it work for them.

There are apps, games already created by students. Piecefall is one of the last creations. And by English students.

Computing curriculum at school is already working in different European countries. Also in Australia, United States and other countries for sure.

Level : Elementary education; Secondary education, other.

Curriculum: You will decide as a teacher. The game opens huge possibilities as an educational digital resource.

screenshot: Piecefall

"It should come as no surprise that all five members of the final team have already secured jobs at LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital in Sheffield and Elite3D in Valencia." Wow!

PieceFall has been praised and hailed for being the first game ever to be released on a Playstation platform all done by students, which is part of  Playstation First Initiative. 

I think the game does look pretty solid, and from the video it does look quite nice.

screenshot: Piecefall


"PieceFall is sold as a puzzle game, but it is much more than just that. It’s an experience that tells a story of repair. Every time the island is put back together, it grows, as do the structures that were previously on the island. From building windmills, to a statue of an Egyptian god, it is all entered around re-building these sculptures. Combine this with the beautiful art style, and the relaxing music, it works as a relaxing little diversion."

Why not learning by gaming? You know how students love games in school curriculum. They learn much better.

Of course, it will be a good resource for Vocational students. They will be encouraged to follow their dream and be a game designer. Why not at Sheffield Hallam University?

"The visuals in PieceFall are charming with bright but soothing colours and peaceful landscapes. Although the soundtrack is very limited and can begin to grate on you if you’re stuck on a particular puzzle, the euphonious music helps evoke a sense of tranquility."

Indie Marathon

screenshot: Piecefall

Better than this? If you want yo use it in your classroom, it will be a strangely hypnotic puzzle mechanic that will have an immediate appeal to Tetris students-fans. 

PiececeFall provides an intricate new take on the classic concept by flipping the puzzle onto a horizontal plane. Are your students ready to accept this challenge, and restore harmony to the islands?

PieceFall is brought to us from Steel Minions, a studio that is based in the Sheffield Hallam University, and is created by college students. Knowing that, it will encourage your students in coding lessons.

"This is the first fully published PS4 student game, paving the way for the next wave of PlayStation developers now in education, and is a real testament to what is possible when you follow your dreams."

PlayStation Blog



Copyright © 2015G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Coding at school : Piecefall, game by students bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Note: Thanks to Prof. Jacobs Habgood Department of Computing Sheffield Hallam University and Josh Pears, one of the English students.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Civics education : World Humanitarian Day

“In a world that is ever more digitally connected, each of us has the power and responsibility to inspire our fellow human beings to act to help others and create a more humane world.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
World Humanitarian Day is observed every year on 19 August as a way to recognize those who face‪ ‎danger‬ and adversity in order to helping others.

The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad which claimed the lives of 22 of our United Nations colleagues.

Serving the cause of ‪‎peace‬ is a dangerous occupation. Today and always UN and all of us ‪‎are remembering the humanitarians.

Serving the cause of ‪‎Peace is a dangerous occupation. 

World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.
The theme of 2015 is "Inspiring the World's Humanity"
This year, the UN and its humanitarian partners invite all of us to inspire the world’s humanity. The theme calls on us to join any of the world’s humanitarian organizations and become an active messenger of Humanity.
"The first day of action is today, 19 August: World Humanitarian Day. This is a day to celebrate humanitarians around the world. In an effort to build a global sense of momentum, we will call on our Messengers of Humanity to take an important social action on this day and share them on your social networks and amplify the message."



"Saving lives should not cost lives. This is why on World Humanitarian Day we commemorate the brave women and men who died whilst in humanitarian service. Today, we honour humanitarian workers who continue to risk their lives as they help people who suffer."

Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner

Humanitarianism it’s human beings at their cooperative, collaborative best and it happens all over the place, everyday, through informal activities that are built naturally into healthy communities and relationships.

How can we not include these two great events in the school curriculum? And why not join the humanitarians in simple acts as a part of Civics Education: Inspiring our students since the early age is  a value that we can't waste.


For some Activities, please visit my post The world needs more heroes : WHD2014.

Invite your students to visit WHD website to find the humanitarian 'stars' they admire Cody Simpson, Lang Lang, Ricardo Kaká, Leona Lewis among other.

This year, Elyx the 1st UN virtual ambassador UN70 tour-around the world in 70 days.

Elyx deviates from his tight travel schedule to offer his support to the World Humanitarian Day.

Elyx wants to use his time in the spotlight to honor all the people who commit their lives to helping humans in need, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.

Being without skin, color, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or ideology, Elyx connects all people, irrespective of what might divide them. 

The virtual ambassador is thus truly a unifying symbol and supports humanitarians, who, like him, are symbols of universal unity and humanity. 

Their never ending optimism, joy and care for other human beings makes their actions admirable and should be an example for all people in the world. 

Invite your students to follow Elyx' tour around the world on Flickr. Since September 2014, Elyx has worked alongside the UN family.

Curricula : Civics, Languages ; Geography ; History ; Photography ; Music ; other.

Level : All levels
Of course teachers will include different activities adjusting to the level they are teaching. I'm sure you will be creative and very persuade.


Copyright © 2014G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Civics Education : World Humanitarian Day 2015 by GinaSouto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.